The socio-economic contribution of Detarium senegalense seeds to rural livelihoods in Togo (West Africa)
Detarium senegalense J. F. Gmel., of the Fabaceae family, is one of the most used tree species in the natural forest area of Togo. The rural population uses several parts of the species to enhance their income. Detarium senegalense provides in particular a high economic valued seed. However, there are only few scientific studies on the contribution of the species to the income of rural households. The objective of this study is to contribute to the promotion of multi-purpose tree species in Togo with particular emphasis on better knowledge of Detarium senegalense. The methodology used is based on semi-structured interviews as well as participatory observations. Detarium senegalense contributes to the economy and livelihood of the rural population through income generated by the collection and trading of seeds. Collectors and traders of the seed are mostly women. The average amount of seed harvested is 45.6 (± 25.3) kg per year per collector and revenue per year per collector is US $ 59 (± 58). Local people can have an important role to secure Detarium senegalense in the degraded natural forests of Togo. However, the sustainable management of this species in the future can only be secured through an active promotion of natural regeneration, enrichment planting and domestication.
Keywords: Detarium senegalense, seed harvesting, impact, rural income, Togo.